FUESD awarded mentoring grant
Last updated 1/24/2008 at Noon
January is National Mentor Month and Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) is launching its new Mentoring to Excel and Empower Together (MEET) program.
The program is being funded by a three-year grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
More than 1,100 applicants nationwide were reviewed and only 170 awarded. In California, there were 33 grantees, of which only eight were public education institutions.
FUESD was selected to be included in the proposal by the San Diego County Office of Education, along with two other rural school districts, because of its demographics and the need for such services for younger students as well as the district’s ability to manage the program.
Potter Junior High School currently conducts a mentoring program called Potter Reaches Out.
MEET will match La Paloma and Live Oak elementary school students with mature mentors. Mentees and mentors will meet once a week at the school for one hour. They will also be participating in study trips and special events.
Training will be provided for all participants, as will ongoing support throughout the year.
Mentoring has long been recognized as a viable and effective strategy to positively affect the lives of young people. The often cited research study conducted by Public/Private Ventures found that young people mentored by caring mature individuals were 46 percent less likely to start using drugs, 52 percent less likely to skip school and 33 percent less likely to engage in violence. Having a mentor also had a positive effect on academic achievement for a large percentage of students.
Mentoring is also beneficial to the mentor. Sharing life experiences can give new purpose to seniors, give younger mentors a more well-rounded perspective of their current place in life and provide a way to strengthen supports to children and families and build community in Fallbrook.
FUESD is committed to bringing quality programs and services to children and families. MEET will fill a need by further connecting the community of Fallbrook and the schools.
Adults, college students and mature high school students are encouraged to inquire at Live Oak Elementary School about volunteering to mentor. The school is at 1978 Reche Road; its phone number is (760) 723-6700.